Two including cop killed in incident with armed Chand cadre
July 11, 2019 04:00 AM NPT
By: Akson Rai
BHOJPUR, July 11: Two persons including a policeman were killed in an exchange of fire with a cadre of the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN (Maoist) in Bhojpur, Wednesday morning. This is the first instance of police personnel being killed since police stepped up their offensive against the outlawed group.
Those killed in the incident have been identified as police Constable Sanjeev Rai and Chand group Okhaldhunga in-charge Nir Kumar Rai. Police Constable Khem Nath Bhattarai was also seriously injured.
Constable Rai died on the spot while Chand cadre Rai died, allegedly of excess bleeding, while undergoing treatment at Bhojpur Hospital, according to police.
Constable Rai was deputed to plain-clothes duty to gather intelligence. Prior to this, he had served as bodyguard to lawmaker Sudan Kiranti. It was during that time that he had come to know Chand cadre Rai in person.
Cadre Rai, who had been with the Mohan Baidya-led Maoist faction, later joined the Chand-led outfit and was currently its Okhaldhunga in-charge.
A permanent resident of Shadananda Rural Municipality-13 Boya in Bhojpur, he had also served with the Maoist rebel army and was deputy commander of its Ram Brikshya Brigade.
Sources said police had stepped up vigilance against Chand cadres after receiving an intelligence report that they had entered Bhojpur district headquarters a week ago. A plain-clothes police team including Constable Rai had reached the local weekly market in the course of gathering intelligence.
The team reached Pandhare Hotel at the weekly market where Constable Rai planned to engage the Maoist in conversation while calling in reinforcements from the district police office, which was about a 15-minute walk away.
Noticing that the constable had made a phone call, the Maoist tried to flee on the excuse of going to the toilet. But the constable did not let him go and instead held him by the collar. That was when the Maoist, who was in possession of a pistol, pumped a bullet into the constable's abdomen .
Another plain-clothes cop, who was with the team, shot the Maoist in the thigh. Eyewitnesses said there had been a brief scuffle.
After taking Nir Kumar Rai under their control, police rushed him to Bhojpur District Hospital nearby . Sources said he breathed his last shortly after he was admitted there. Locals said at least two shots were fired in the incident.
Police have found a Chinese pistol, two magazine sets and six bullets.
Chand group was out for revenge against police
The Chand group had announced it would take revenge against police after their cadre Tirtha Raj Ghimire was killed in police fire on May 22 in Bhojpur district. Chand had his sights on Constable Rai , alleging his involvement in police operations.
Police have beefed up security in Bhojpur following the incident. Foot patrolling has also been stepped up at all possible hideouts, according to DSP Nara Bahadur Salami Magar. Police took precautions following an intelligence report that Chand cadres had entered Bhojpur district after an encounter with police in Sankhuwasabha recently. The body of the police constable was sent to Dharan at the request of his family.\